San Francisco (79-70) at Colorado (70-78)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 37° F
  • Game info: 8:40 pm EDT Thu Sep 15, 2011
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Time is running out on the San Francisco Giants’ chances to defend their World Series title, but they’re doing their best to remain alive in the NL West race.

Ryan Vogelsong(notes) will try to give the Giants a fifth consecutive victory by snapping a lengthy personal skid when he faces the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night.

San Francisco (79-70) reduced its divisional deficit Wednesday with a 3-1 win over San Diego and Arizona’s 3-2 loss at Los Angeles. The Giants, though, still trail the Diamondbacks by 7 1/2 games with 13 remaining.

“Our goal is just to finish strong and do the best we can,” outfielder Carlos Beltran(notes) said. “Hopefully, a miracle will happen.”

They’ve tried to avoid elimination by outscoring opponents 22-7 in their last four games. Beltran hit three homers during the three-game sweep of the Padres, including two Wednesday to give him 300 for his career.

Since being acquired from the New York Mets on July 28, Beltran is batting .443 with five homers and 12 RBIs in 16 games against NL West teams.

“He’s an impact player,” manager Bruce Bochy told the Giants’ official website. “You’re seeing some things that can happen with him in the lineup.”

Beltran will try to keep slugging while helping Vogelsong (10-7, 2.66 ERA) end a string of five consecutive losing starts. The right-hander has posted a 3.38 ERA in those outings but has gotten a combined three runs of support.

He gave up three runs over eight innings Saturday during a 3-0 loss to the Dodgers, but might need only a little more support against the Rockies (70-78).

Vogelsong has allowed one run and five hits in 14 1-3 innings while winning both his starts versus Colorado this year, but he’ll be making his first start at Coors Field.

The Rockies will send out Jhoulys Chacin(notes) (11-11, 3.64), who lost Friday in his return from a bout with tonsillitis.

The right-hander held Cincinnati scoreless over the first five innings but couldn’t get out of the sixth. He recorded one out in that frame and was charged with three runs in a 4-1 defeat.

“I lost my focus a little bit,” Chacin said. “The first five innings, I had all my pitches, my good command, everything. But when you walk the first hitter (in the sixth), that’s when you pay for it. After that, that’s what happened, errors and they got runs and we lost.

“It’s a really bad taste when you lose a game like that.”

Colorado’s wins leader is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in four career starts against the Giants. He gave up one run and four hits over six innings during a 2-1 win June 4 in San Francisco.

The Rockies are seeking their fourth win in five games, but they’re 5-11 in their last 16 against the Giants. They have, however, won three straight at Coors Field in the series.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Vogelsong PIT vs. J. Chacin ATL
13-7 Record 11-14
2.71 ERA 3.62
139 K 150
61 BB 87
1.25 WHIP 1.31


Thursday, Sep 15